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Sick Avocado Tree?

    64 responses

Dave starts with ...
Hi everyone,

I've only just got into growing fruit trees (and anything green actually), where I have just purchased a Wurtz Avocado tree. The tree was purchased a week and a half ago and I repotted into a larger 51cm pot.

About a week ago I noticed a brown mark on the trunk of the avocado tree, I initially didn't think much of it, but it has slowly got larger and darker. I'm thinking that it is just sun burn so I constructed a simple shield out of cardboard to protect the trunk from the sun. The shield has been there for a view days now and I have not seen any change in the dark mark.

Apart from this mark the rest of the tree seems healthy with many new shoots growing nicely since potting.

I have included pictures of it and I am just wondering if this is anything serious that I should be concerned about?

Cheers,

Dave
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Dave2
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25th January 2010 6:00pm
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Charles cant spell says...
If that black is just a spot/area on one side I agree sunburn, mine got sunburnt with dark brown patches on the laterals (flat stems) rather than verticles as in your case. IF its sunburn your setup looks fine, though it seems odd you stem is damaged but not your leaves which should have burnt as well.'

If the black mark goes all the way around the stem it is likely to be something more serious/dodgy. Watch the brown/black area for spliting/oozing etc.
These pages might help.
http://www.kalron.com/kalstor/pub/crfg/avo-prob.htm
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/120012/avocado-diseases.pdf

Could you do a more in focus pic of both side of the stem for the dark patch. If you cant get the camera to focus hold something against the back of the stem (sheet of paper etc wide). This will allow the camera to get the correct focal length and give you a clearer photo.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth - Innaloo
25th January 2010 10:35pm
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Original Post was last edited: 25th January 2010 10:39pm
Dave says...
Here are some more detailed pics of the area.
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Dave2
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26th January 2010 10:20am
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Charles cant spell says...
Doesnt look good. Hopefully someone here is a avo/tropical disease expert. I dont think thats sunburn myself.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
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26th January 2010 8:51pm
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Dave says...
That's what I didn't want to here, can someone give me some advise on what to do?
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Dave2
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27th January 2010 3:28pm
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
I see you have it in a pot. I know they can be grown in a pot, but I wouldn't.

Try giving it some Gypsum, and don't overwater it. I'd give it some weak Seasol too. Your potting mix could be too sour as well. Dolomite will sweeten the potting mix, if needed.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
29th January 2010 10:23am
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Dave says...
Thanks for your response Brendan, I'm renting so I can't plant it in the ground, but I got a dwarf variety which do fine in a pot.

I will give those things a go and see what happens.

Any ideas on how long it would take to see changes?
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Dave2
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29th January 2010 10:51am
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
Between 15 to 25 days.

Have you done a pH test of the potting mix?

I don't want to scare you, but that could be the start of 'Anthracnose'. Wait 'till it picks up, then spray it with 30g copperoxy chloride in 4.5 litres of water, with a 'good' wetting agent (eg Spreadmax). Spray once a week for 3 weeks, then once a month 'till it's gone.
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Brendan
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30th January 2010 6:54am
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Dave says...
Ok now you have confused me, but what do you mean 'that could be the start of'Anthracnose''? Wouldn't it already have it?

I'll get onto testing the pH of the potting mix and get back to you, what is a good range for an avocado tree?
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Dave2
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30th January 2010 8:59pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Anthracnose is an option but it odd to see it on the trunk first. He means the first visable signs of the diesease. At the end of the day its a better diesease that some of the others.

You may aswell get those chemicals and give it a go. You will likely need then later anyway, especially if you wont to/are growing mango's avo's and other suceptable tropical species.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth - Innaloo
30th January 2010 10:22pm
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Charles cant spell says...
It also looks like its trying hard to shoot just after the graft below the patch, which might mean the plant knows its got issues at or above the patch. I would be inclined to leave on of those shoots incase you for whatever loose the top. If the patch goes away you can remove the shoot then.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth - Innaloo
30th January 2010 10:26pm
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Dave says...
Yeh there were 3 new shots occuring below down the bottom (above the graft), where one is shotting up real nice. I did however knock one of them and it did break off, but there are still 2 left.

On another note, the top of the tree is doing really well and is growing very fast and healthy on the top. It seems this disease has done nothing in stopping its growth, which I think is a good thing.

One final thing, I only got tap water here, which I know isn't the best water for plants. Would using spring water or something from the supermarket help?
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Dave2
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1st February 2010 2:36pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Store bought spring water would just be wasting money, though water quality is important and untreated water is gererally regarded as better than chlorinated/flouridated scheme water, it is not a significant factor.

As long as you are not over watering and occasionally giving some dilute seasol type treatment you should be just fine. As brendan has suggested above, and dont give it any stront fertilissers they dont respond well untill well established to fertilising.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
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1st February 2010 2:56pm
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Steven says...
Hi how are you.

I grew two Hass avocados from seed and one of them had a dark patch on it like yours does. I suspected it was sunburn too as it was on the western side of the trunk and the north side had a bit of shade. mine was growing really well but then just stopped for no apparent reason. the brown mark turned black and then started cracking and turned a slight ash grey. At the same time blisters were appearing all over the trunk which started to concern me, a walnut tree about 10m from the avocado seemed to have the same sort of blisters too which was killing the trunk right to its center. i still dont know what it was and no one was able to tell me. I played it safe and cut the trunk right down below any of the infection and left about 20cm of the trunk. the walnut has picked up nicely and the avocado has made a bud. hopefully ive gotten rid of the problem.
If it gets worse and you cant do anything about it cut it right back (preferably above the graft).

i also treated the soil with a fungicide and about a week after that gave them some seasol.

I attached a pictures of the disease on both trees.
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Steven
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1st February 2010 11:29pm
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Brendan says...
Hi Steven,
Scroll down to the post called: "Anthracnose Avocados", you'll find some good info there. (eg Gypsum).

Your photos seem to have got lost.

Try growing only 'grafted' avo trees, seedlings take too long and the Hass seed will not give you a Hass tree.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
2nd February 2010 8:36am
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Dave says...
Hey Steven, I too can't see your photos, so if you could reupload them it would be good.
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Dave2
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2nd February 2010 5:50pm
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Dave says...
Just thought I would upload updated photos, as you can see the black disease lesion has gotten larger and is making its way around the tree.

Also the disease has not stopped the growth of the tree, where the canopy is growing really well. Just compare the original image to these one, which I think is a good sign that it's not one of those serious diseases.
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Dave2
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4th February 2010 10:38am
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
Have you sprayed it the copper spray & wetting agent yet? Make sure the 'lesion' area is well sprayed / coated.
The 'old' way of doing it is, make up a copper & water paste, and paint that over the lesion?
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
5th February 2010 10:18am
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Dave says...
Hi Brendan,
No I havn't sprayed with a copper spray and wetting agent yet, I will wait for the weekend as I'm getting some rain water off my sister, which will hopefully help with the healing process.

Just to clarify something, do you mean mix the copperoxy chloride and wetting agent into one then spray onto the tree? Or apply them individually?

Also this won't have any negative affects? As I'm currently spraying it with anti-rot (phosphorous acid) and seasol.

Sorry for all the ignorant questions, I'm still new to growing trees.

Dave
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Dave2
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5th February 2010 1:26pm
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
Yeah, mix 30g copperoxy chloride with 4.5 litres water, then add & mix in the (good) wetting agent. Spray the whole tree once a week for 3 weeks, then once a month for 6 to 9 months.

I think you only spray anti-rot once a year? I'd give it seasol every fortnight.

Yes, rainwater is hard to beat.

Have you ever given your tree some Gypsum? Won't hurt. Seeing it's in a pot, try some 'liquid gypsum'.

Don't forget Dave, we're all still learning. Why? Because soil is different all over Australia :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
6th February 2010 7:26am
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Original Post was last edited: 6th February 2010 7:40am
Dave says...
Hi Brendan,
Yeah I have piled in the gypsum and it seems to be liking it.

I will give that copper spray a go and see what happens.
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Dave2
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Dave says...
Over the past 24 hours the state of the tree has changed dramatically, where I think this is not a good sign.

As you can see from the pictures, all the leaves in the top canopy have sagged down. The shoot that is coming up below the disease has been uneffected, but I think I may have lost the top.

I have also included pictures of some of the sick leaves, if anyone has some advice please help me.

Dave
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Dave2
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Araich says...
That looks a gonna. At the very least I can't see the top recovering. Has the infection made any progress downwards? If it has I would consider chopping it now before it progresses.

If the roots are good it will regrow fast, as it will concentrate on leaf growth for awhile.

Just my 2 cents.
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Araich
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27th February 2010 4:27pm
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amanda says...
I agree Araich...Dave - see if they will swap the tree for u where u bought it...it was obviously not well as it had that mark on the trunk within 2 weeks of purchase..i reckon the two are linked and the tree is not going to make it. :-(
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
27th February 2010 11:14pm
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
Gee that's one sick puppy, and I thought it was coming along fine. Did you ever spray it with the copper spray & wetting agent?

Is the healthy shoot below the graft or not? If it's above the graft (hopefully), I'd cut the tree off below that 'lesion' (if possible), and paint it with a product called Tree Stac. That healthy shoot is telling you it wants to grow, do not remove it.

As a last resort, try this. Mix up cap full (no more) of Dettol (no substitutes), with 4.5 litres water, and water your sick tree (soil only). This should kill the fungal disease in your soil. Also, I'd give it a heaped tablespoon of dolomite too, as most potting mixes are 'sour'. Try to keep the potting mix on the dry side of moist.

Or else do what Amanda suggests and trade it in.

PS Seeing it's a dwaft (Wurtz), would it be possible to plant it in the ground?
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
28th February 2010 8:23am
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Original Post was last edited: 28th February 2010 8:37am
amanda says...
Dave - are u able to scrape back a bit of soil around the trunk and take a pic? It looks like the tree has collar rot..it's a bit black at the soil junction?
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28th February 2010 10:54am
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HappyEarth says...
Hi Dave - as you noted its been sunburnt which is very common in young avocados. Your only hope is that the healthy shoot coming up is above the graft. If so cut it below the lesion as brendan suggests. If its coming from below then its going to lose its 'wurtz' characteristics.

The fact that you have a healthy shoot coming up suggest the root system and base are fine.

Hope this helps, Rich
www.happyearth.com.au
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Dave says...
@Brendan - Yes I thought it was coming along really good as well, then suddenly over 1 day the whole tree just dropped. And yes I applied the copper spray, but didn't seem to make any affect unfortunetly.

@Amanda - I spoke to the nursery at the very beginning about the disease and they said that if it does kill the tree they will swap it over, but I have become very attached to this tree (I've named it Leonardo) and don't want to lose it.

I've uploaded some more pictures of the base of the trunk and a closer look at the lower shoot.

From what I can tell there are no signs of collar rot and the roots seems to be in a heathly condition.

The shoot is above the graft and is still healthy (in the pics it looks a little troubled cos it is really really windy today and it normally isn't). The only problem is, is that the disease lession is making its way down and has gone past the shoot. However it is still only on the one side (and its the other side to the shoot), so my question is, if I cut the top off and remove all the diseased areas will that lower shoot survive?
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Dave2
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Dave says...
Just thought I was add, in those pictures thats not the graft point just under the shoot if you are wondering. The graft is about 10cm below the shoot.
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Araich says...
I would cut close above the shoot, an 45 degree angle downwards away from the shoot, trying to remove as much of the blackened area as possible.

It is hard to feel optimistic, with avocados so prone to early death. But you gotta try!

I wonder if as a very last hope, you don't take the shoot and try and graft onto the rootstock, discarding everything in between. I'm sure that it could be done.
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28th February 2010 5:25pm
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amanda says...
Hi Dave..poor Leonardo! My guess is you have a stem canker (can be bacterial or fungal) so get rid of it asap b4 u lose the whole plant. Yates Anti Rot is good for fungal infections and it won't hurt to try it. Good healthy regrowth should see off a bacterial canker (after chopping the bad bit off). Put the pot somewhere out of direct sun and leave it there until weather cools and new growth going well.
You will have to chop it I'm afraid because much of the vascular tissue has been destroyed and the top is not getting enough water (hence the wilt and burn)
You may yet win..but better do it now b4 it spreads any further..good luck and let us know what happens hey?
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28th February 2010 7:54pm
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Dave says...
The head of Leo has been chopped and now we play the waiting game.

I will post updates whether it is good or bad, fingers crossed it will be good.
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Dave2
Adelaide
2nd March 2010 2:42pm
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amanda says...
We shall all pray for Leonardo.. ;-)
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2nd March 2010 7:34pm
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Dave says...
Seems like Leonardo has a fighting spirit :)

It has been a month and a half since I cut his head off and left the only shoot left to continue and he has done excellent in my opinion. He has been growing a couple of inches every view days, where it seems the disease is all gone :)

The black mark continued to stay there after I cut the top off, but it did not progress any further. Then one day I decided to scratch the black mark to see how deep it was where to my surprise I found it to be a lovely green colour just under the surface. I removed all the black from the limb, where it has now become a brown colour which I believe is just the Avocado healing its wound.

So all and all I'm very grateful for all the help I got on this forum.

I have included pictures of how he is at this stage, nice and healthy in my opinion. If you don't think so, let me know.

Dave
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21st April 2010 11:28am
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HappyEarth says...
Nice work!!! Your tree is looking very healthy!

Rich
www.happyearth.com.au
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HappyEarth
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21st April 2010 11:58am
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Brendan says...
Hi Dave,
Have to agree with Rich, nice work! You've done well.
If it were mine, I'd paint the wound with a product called 'Tree Stac'. Although, people like Colin Campbell from ABC Gardening, doesn't like painting tree wounds with anything.
I'll leave that decision up to you.
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Mackay, Q
22nd April 2010 8:36am
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd April 2010 8:40am
Dave says...
Thanks Rich and Brendan.

@Brendan - The wound is now a month and a half old now and seems to be healthy so I'm not going to mess around with it. You know the expressions, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Thanks for the input though.

Now I only have to get the plant to grow straight, it is really top heavy with no trunk strength and wants to spiral around the stake lol. I'm thinking of adding 2 stakes to the outside to give more support.

Anyone got any other suggestions on the staking?

Dave

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Original Post was last edited: 22nd April 2010 2:07pm
Charles cant spell says...
Staking the trunk of a tree will make it weak. You need your support to be flexible so the plant feels itself bending, flexing in the wind or under its weight and strengthens its trunk, something like a stocking between to poles with a wind or two around the tree trunk on the way through should do the trick.


That said your exposed trunk/new shoot point will be quite weak so dont give it to much flex.

Just look up fruit tree support or something on google you will see what I am talking about.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
22nd April 2010 2:57pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd April 2010 3:01pm
johnsonrobbins says...
I know this is a dated thread but see what is happening to my Avocado Dwarf Wurtz. This black infection has been spreading across my tree and I have been slowly cutting it out as it progresses. Seems to be the same "e;Stem Canker"e;
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
14th October 2016 12:16am
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Dave2 says...
This is an oldie....

Firstly I will update the state of Leonardo, he is doing great! No problems and he is growing strong. I have only just recently put him in the ground, where he is currently covered in flowers and I hope some little avocado's start growing soon.

John:
That does look exactly the same to what I had. I followed the instructions from Amanda and it seemed to work for me.

amanda says...
"e;Hi Dave..poor Leonardo! My guess is you have a stem canker (can be bacterial or fungal) so get rid of it asap b4 u lose the whole plant. Yates Anti Rot is good for fungal infections and it won't hurt to try it. Good healthy regrowth should see off a bacterial canker (after chopping the bad bit off). Put the pot somewhere out of direct sun and leave it there until weather cools and new growth going well. "e;

My advice is to remove all the black dead wood and apply Yates Anti Rot. Keep out of direct sunlight and hopefully it will bounce back.

Cheers,

Dave
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Markmelb says...
mmmm JR - Avos dont make great indoor plants unless you have them in an airy well lit & unheated spot by a window or Atrium. But youve just come out of summer?
Thats called dieback depending on how wet your potting mix is (should be free draining but moisture retentive).

Where are the leaves? If its a seedling start a new one.

Need far more info for a definitive assessment?

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Markmelb
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14th October 2016 10:19am
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Steven says...
Hi john I hope you're well


Most of the time when a tree gets sick its because its stressed and the disease iself is a biproduct of that. Is the tree inside or out? because it may not be getting enough light inside.

Also check the soil to make sure its free draining, is not wet and doesnt smell funky. I often put a dozen or so compost worms in my pots which helps keep the soil friable and improves its mircobiome.

By the looks of things you live in the Northern American states, so i imagine it gets pretty cold where you live. Do you take it outside during the warmer months? Also be careful if its near a heater duct as the dry air can damage the leaves.

Being in Melbourne, Australia we've planted our Avocado next to a north facing brick wall as the suns in the north sky in Australia. The wall helps keep the tree warm during winter (although we dont get snow) and protects it from the cold south westerly winds which is where we get most of our cold fronts from.

I hope this helps.


Steven
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johnsonrobbins says...
So some more information.. I bought this Dwarf Wurtz in North Carolina, after transplant all the leaves fell off and months later it thrived for about 8 months and looked great.

I just recently relocated to Eastern Idaho, had to re-transplant the tree into a new pot (as it almost died in the move). All the leaves fell off again, and right when it started to bounce back we are getting cold weather. I only then moved the tree indoors (about a month ago).

The tree started to come back and I got a bunch of new growth but then all the stems/branches are starting to turn brown from top down killing off the new growth and the branches. I have been playing catch up cutting off the dying branches hoping it stops spreading but unfortunately it seems inevitable that the tree will be consumed and it will die.

I have now taken the advice of this forum and last week cut away EVERYTHING that looked suspicious at all. I now have a really sad looking tree and I have no idea if it will bounce back.
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
18th October 2016 8:00am
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Original Post was last edited: 18th October 2016 8:02am
Markmelb says...
JR - thanks for more info.

It does look sad and didnt like the move or new aspect.

Does it have a tag with what rootstock it was grafted to??
I would myself paint some grafting paint on that cut or maybe paint with some bordeaux paste to stop any fungal issues.

I would also remove the leaves / Mulch so it can dry out a bit with the cooler weather soon as it wont need much watering or you will rot it and wait for summer.
Give it a bright window and keep away from drying draughts - maybe a light spray on leaves on sunny days to raise humidity or an asthma atomiser would work if room is kept warm at about 20c over your winter?

I bring my Papayas in over winter and dont water till they go out mid spring.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
18th October 2016 9:19am
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Original Post was last edited: 18th October 2016 11:09am
johnsonrobbins says...
thanks for the update. I have been giving the tree about a gallon of water a week as I hear mixed conversation regarding keeping the tree moist when pruning to reduce stress. However, I would have to agree, I think it needs to dry out a bit, excessive moisture might possibly be the cause of the rot issue. I have now removed all the mulch and will stop watering for a few weeks and see if it improves.
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
19th October 2016 7:55am
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Steven says...
I agree with Mark, you could also feed it some seasol (not fertilizer) which hopefully will give it a bit of a boost.


Mark how do your Papayas go? I planted some in a a greenhouse but they would take too long to pick up once the weather warms up to really do much. Is the fruit good?
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Steven
TEMPLESTOWE,3106,VIC
19th October 2016 9:27am
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Markmelb says...
JR - I was also thinking about how fast water runs thru pot - fast is good - slow to very slow or sitting on top is very bad - Avos need a free draining acidic (like camelia mix) ph5 - 5.5.

I add pearlite/vermiculite to a premium high grade pine bark based mix to lighten the soil - help drainage and moisture retention without waterlogging.

Avos drink lots when its hot and next to nothing when it cool/cold.

Orchards have died in QLD when underwater for 3 days - i get concerned even when we have continuous rainy days but no flooding.
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Markmelb
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19th October 2016 3:42pm
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johnsonrobbins says...
Water flows through pretty well. The bottom foot is straight bark, half way to the top is half bark half organic soil. When I water, I see drainage almost immediately. I can only think that the shock of moving to so many different locations and temperaments has created a high amount of stress on it, which in turn has made it susceptible to disease.

You can see the remaining leaves are starting to turn brown and will die. I'm only hoping its stress related due to massive pruning and not more rot. I do not see any more rot creeping in the branches so far.
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
21st October 2016 4:07am
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Markmelb says...
I guess now you could quaify what you mean by Bark? What sort - Hardwood isnt good - Pine is perfect.
Also the organic soil -- is it designed as a potting mix like a soil less mix made with pine bark and composts -- or is it for the outside vegie bed.

If you got a bagged mix for Orchids and added an organic compost 50/50 that would work.

Then wait for next flush in coming Spring. It wont be doing much if that existing growth recently flushed post Summer.

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Steven says...
Hopefully it pulls through. I had one I grew from seed in the ground and it was doing really well until we got a hot dry spell during summer and it lost all its leaves. I thought it was gone but its slowly picked back up. It hasnt grown as much as youd hope but its alive and looks healthy.
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TEMPLESTOWE,3106,VIC
21st October 2016 2:31pm
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johnsonrobbins says...
Honestly, I don't recall the exact bark type or soil mix I added. I likely could have made a better choice, however I am very reluctant to re-transplant it at this point with all the stress its under.

However, If you feel it would be better served in new a new soil mix I WILL do it, as i'm hoping it recovers at some point.

Please see new image. Seems the black rot has still not spread further on the last remaining branch. Im hoping the leaves are just a sign of stress from pruning the disease.

Would it be better to cut higher, just below the dark area? Also if it is successful, how long should I expect before it starts growing again?
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
22nd October 2016 3:49am
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Original Post was last edited: 26th October 2016 12:12am
johnsonrobbins says...
After further examination after this weekend. You can see the Rot is now spreading from a lower cut I made earlier.

As a last effort to save the tree, I am thinking I will need to cut the trunk down much lower. you can see a very small growing area down near the graft. I am thinking of cutting it right above that.
I believe this is called stumping the tree :( Any thoughts or suggestions? Also Yates Anti Rot is not available in the USA.. Any other suggested products? I found this on Amazon (Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide) is it similar?
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
25th October 2016 1:11am
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Original Post was last edited: 26th October 2016 2:34am
Brendan says...
If it were mine jr, I'd dissolve 2 t-spoons of copper oxychloride into 2 litres of water, and drench the plant and the soil in the pot.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
25th October 2016 9:31am
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johnsonrobbins says...
The Rot was spreading so fast I had to make some quick decisions. I have no doubt they were amateur but this is what I did.

1. I cut the main trunk right above the graft.
2. I went to our local home depot and found the only anti fungi spray I could find
3. Sprayed the freshly cut trunk.

See images attached and please provide any further advice. I am not sure there is a good chance for survival at this point :(
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
26th October 2016 4:07am
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Original Post was last edited: 29th October 2016 6:56am
Markmelb says...
Well JR youve bitten the bullet and done the cut back - Im now believing its all to do with root rot if its going so fast.

Remove now from pot - look at roots and if they are brown / black and rotting (seperating when stripped with nail) and possibly smelling of cinnamon you have root rot.

Remove as much of soil till you get to WHITE roots (must be some left) then dunk - spray with your Fungicide.
Does it mention Phytophera remedy on bottle?

Then gently repot in a smaller plastic pot with alot of holes in base for drainage with a new mix of half camelia and half orchid mix -- then keep warm & nurse it till next summer. Youve got nothing to lose now.

I have a Pinkerton that got root rot in the ground -- put it back in a pot but used a commercial Phytophera beneficial fungous treatment called PHYTOGUARD and IS NOW FLOWERING. Google it - it isn't cheap stuff but it works. Commercial Avo farms treat their trees with this or injections just in case before they get rot diseases.

I also spray Antirot on trees leaves which is a Phosphonic Acid - ive even injected suspect trees too with a solution also with good results but are still slow to recover.

I have found your sprays label and says it will work on Phytophera - see if you can smell cinnamon as ive personally never done that test yet :)

pic of Pinkerton in flower
Pic of nice Avocado roots
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
27th October 2016 9:20am
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Original Post was last edited: 27th October 2016 10:00pm
Brendan says...
Hi jr, might also pay to seal the cut trunk of your sick plant. Try a water based paint or something like Steri-prune.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-250g-steri-prune-sealing-paint-aerosol_p3015462

Copper oxychloride should control Phytophthora AND Anthracnose!

Markmelb's info is very good too.
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30th October 2016 12:10pm
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johnsonrobbins says...
I have done every recommended to me, with the exception of the paint. I will see to that tomorrow. The roots look pretty bad, but did not smell like cinnamon, just fresh soil. I have attached pictures of the process, and would love feedback.
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
2nd November 2016 11:23am
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Markmelb says...
JR - good effort so far -would like to see bag your soil came from as we here have potting mixes with an Australian standard of ticks from basic regular to premium that has wetting agents & ferts good for up to 6 months that if good have a neutral PH of around 7 - avos love acidity like camelias do - not a huge issue whilst in recovery but they grow better when healthy -Avos like a dusting of Gypsum too (Act like a fert to them) keep in mind it could take a while to show growth on top while roots are healing up i think - also dont fertilise except for a weak seaweed tonic like our Seasol - Avos from my experience dont show results of application of amendments or fert programs for up to 4 months where its cool i have found so be patient.lets hope no more die back.
My Avos are showing more branch dieback this year where fruit was maybe due to it being so wet this winter?
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Markmelb
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2nd November 2016 2:01pm
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brad16 says...
Hi johnsonrobbins,

Can I suggest a heat mat?

I had a look at the climate for Idaho Falls. Todays temperatures are 29 up to 46 degrees (Fahrenheit), and tomorrow is 24 to 50 degrees (F). I haven't a clue what that means so I had to convert it to Celsius. That's -2 to 8 degrees Celsius (today) and -4 to 10 degrees (C) tomorrow.
That's really cold, and you still have a month before you even get to winter.

The soil in your photo collage looks quite cold and damp. The photo in the top left picture (labeled 'More Rot') has what looks like soil in your backyard. It looks wet and cloggy. The soil in the pot looks like the same soil mixed with bark chips. Water may drain through quite easily but it still looks 'wet'. Being so cold, and the tree not having any leaves, the moisture in the pot is sitting stagnate (leaves transpire moisture into the atmosphere, hence drawing more moisture up from the soil). Stagnate moisture is where rot thrives.

The suggested heat mat is intended to do two things:

1. Raise the temperature closer to the avocado's growing zone.
2. Help move the moisture up through the plant and also through the soil, so that the moisture doesn't stagnate and provide a nice environment for rot.

Don't water it too much. A healthy plant with lots of foliage and in a warm climate could take much more water than this one can handle. Take a small sample of the soil and dry it out completely so you know its colour and appearance when it is 100% dry. If the soil in the pot is darker than that, it doesn't need any more water. Don't add water until the top half inch or so of soil has dried out (the roots are below that anyway, right?). Then add just enough water so that the top half inch dries out in about two days. There shouldn't be any water coming out the bottom of the pot. In your climate, coming into winter, that will mean there is too much water sitting in the pot for too long. Remember, if the plant can't use it, or it doesn't evaporate out through the soil, it creates an environment for rot.

I've added some photos of an avocado tree I purchased from Daleys a couple of weeks ago and haven't planted out yet. Note, the top of the soil in the second photo is completely dry but the soil underneath it is a bit darker, because it still has moisture. I watered this tree yesterday afternoon (24 hours ago). Enough so that water did come out the bottom. This tree could easily go another day without watering (15 - 22 degrees Celsius or 59 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Your tree doesn't have the foliage that draws moisture from the soil, and is not outside in warmer, direct sunlight with a drying breeze. So if you were to put enough water in the pot until it came out the bottom, that water would be sitting in there for a very long time and during a cold winter. That isn't good.

Because your soil is going to dry out much slower, watch it carefully. Add only just enough water so that in two days time, the top half inch is dry again. Maybe even a spray bottle will be sufficient. It will take some experimentation. Probably give it less than you think it needs and check it more regularly to start with. Slowly increase the amount of water you give it until you are doing it every two days.

I bought a few heat mats for germinating seeds when it was cooler than I wished it was. I recall the cheap ones simply heat to around 10 degree Celsius higher than the ambient temperature. So if the ambient temperature in Idaho Falls is -4 to 10 degrees Celsius at the moment, with the heat mat, the bottom of the pot would be around 6 to 20 degrees Celsius (much more comfortable for a recovering avocado).

Good luck
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
2nd November 2016 7:34pm
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johnsonrobbins says...
Thanks Brad,

This is great info. My climate here is much too cold for this tree so I actually have it indoors by a window currently with a couple of lights on it. I will take it outdoors again after the winter.. assuming its still alive.

As far as soil.. It is a mixture of 1/3 Orchid, 1/3 cactus, 1/3 potting. Was the closest match I could find to what was suggested by Mark.

Any opinions on the roots? Do they look like they can recover?
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
4th November 2016 6:05am
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Markmelb says...
JR - Only time will tell - Brads suggestion on watering is correct when its very cool and there arnt any leaves to transpire but considering whatever your indoor temps are (is it about 22c?) a heat pad from a home brew beer shop is a great idea as well as a heat strap around pot.

I lay a heat strap on the ground outsidefor my Sapodilla to maintain 10c when it gets below 5c - (can get as warm as 25c on a sunny Winters day) it also has a wire mesh tube covered in bubble wrap to keep warmth around it only till about 8am). That could be an idea to try too to get the temp around the Avo to about 25C to get it to grow new root - once leaves start to grow again the sunny window with warmth will be the go.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
4th November 2016 8:17am
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brad16 says...
Hi johnsonrobbins,

Sure, there looks like hope in your roots. From the photo there seems to be a few fresh, light coloured, new growth in there and the stem still looks like it wants to be alive. I wouldn't say all hope is gone.

I'll donate some happy thoughts to help out. Good luck!
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
5th November 2016 8:34am
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johnsonrobbins says...
All Hope lost?
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johnsonrobbins
Idaho Falls
9th November 2016 4:33am
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Markmelb says...
Gee whiz - it decayed really fast - maybe now concentrate on Cherries, and Saskatoons - also American PawPaws - also look at Persimmons which are like Mangos for the cold regions too :)
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Markmelb
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9th November 2016 10:09am
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Original Post was last edited: 9th November 2016 8:25pm
brad16 says...
JR, it looks like optimism is now pushing the boundaries of realism. It looks bad ... terminal bad. Given its decline and unsuitable growing climate, I'd have to say that realistically your tree will not recover. Ouch ... (I didn't enjoy that).
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9th November 2016 4:12pm
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